Skills for Care survey reveals happy but unappreciated social care workforce
The first ever survey of more than 750,000 care workers across England found that whlst 90% of staff are happy in their work less than half believe their work is appreciated by the general public.
The survey of 500 care workers carried out by Skills for Care found only 39% felt their work was appreciated and many felt that there was little understanding of the value of their hard work.
“This survey is the largest ever study of adult social care workers in England and it has revealed that we have some difficult challenges ahead of us over the next decade,” says Skills for Care Chair Donald Hoodless.
“The fact that a sizeable majority of the one million people who work in social care in England feel their work is undervalued reinforces the problems we have in making sure their work with some of the most vulnerable people in our society is properly recognised by the general public. “We are going to need more and more care workers to meet the needs of an aging population and the general public’s negative view of care work means it will be difficult for the sector to recruit people returning to work or young people to replace those staff. It is good news that the workforce is happy in their work but it does raise serious questions about whether they have the skills to cope with the significant changes in our sector, particularly with the greater emphasis on personalised care for a more articulate group of people who use services some of whom are now directly employing their own staff.”
The adult social care workforce accounts for nearly 5 per cent of England’s workforce, spread over more than 25,000 employers. Skills for Care members are drawn from groups representing public, private and voluntary sector care employers, along with representatives of staff, trainers, service users and informal careers. Social care includes residential care, domiciliary care and social work with all its specialists.
The Department of Health have invested significant sums through Skills for Care making sure that staff can access the training they need to do their job to the highest standard possible and it’s encouraging that the majority now have NVQ level 2 qualifications and are accessing training and development reviews.
“It’s worth remembering that 80% qualified staff and only 20% with no qualifications at all is almost the exact opposite of the workforce profile we had before Skills for Care invested time, money and strategic thinking into developing a better trained workforce which will ultimately benefit people who use services. But as we increase numbers of trained staff we need to have a full debate about how we make sure we boost the financial incentives for getting a qualification as our research shows there is only a maximum 6% percent difference in pay rates between qualified and non-qualified staff which is far too low.”
“Skills for Care is not complacent about the state of training within the care sector but is encouraged that significant investments in the development of three quarters of a million workers is beginning to deliver a well trained workforce able to meet the needs of a highly diverse group of people who use services across England.” http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/view.asp?id=966